To celebrate Password Day, I wanted to share some new research that takes a look at how secure social media accounts are. As you may have read in my blog from yesterday, the Associated Press was recently the target of a Twitter account hack. The account was recovered, but not before hackers managed to send out phony breaking news updates that resulted in temporary stock market turmoil. This and other recent attacks have highlighted the importance of having strong account security.
In the study released by IObit, they found that 30% of users always accept the “Keep me Logged-in” feature on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. The study also revealed that 45% of users only change their password when required to do so and that another 15% of users have never changed their passwords. This common user behavior leaves millions of social accounts susceptible to attack and personal information vulnerable to exposure. Those who use the same password for all of their online accounts are in even more danger, because once a hacker has access to one account, he/she can now access all of a user’s accounts that use the same password.
As our society becomes more and more connected through social media sites, it is important to remember that these sites are susceptible to attacks just like any other website. What the study reveals is that people aren’t aware that the tendency to “stay logged in” is putting their personal privacy and security in danger. Users shouldn’t wait until something bad happens before they take action. Having a strong password and updating it regularly is the simplest and most effective way to keep your digital accounts secure.
Unsure if your password is strong enough? Run it through the Intel Password Tool – as an added bonus, the service is currently running a sweepstakes for those who get their password graded and take steps to secure their accounts. For more information on best practices for password safety, you can also join us this afternoon for a Twitter Chat with Intel, the Department of Homeland Security and STOP. THINK. CONNECT. The chat starts at 3pm ET, and you can attend the event and participate by using the hashtag #ChatSTC.
If you’re the type who never changes passwords because you’re prone to forgetting them, check out our McAfee All Access product. It features the new McAfee SafeKey, allowing you to easily and securely store all of your usernames and passwords to various sites, while also offering one-click logins.